Big Eye IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

1,107 Reviews
Big Eye IPABig Eye IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2000

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Reviews: 1,107 | Ratings: 4,268
Photo of Arbitrator
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cellar temperature bottle poured into a mason jar.

A: Pours a perfectly clear amber that is heavily on the orange-gold tint when held against the light. The head is magnificent; the fluffy off-white cap threatens to overflow the glass even from a careful pour. It retains well and leaves thick streaks of lacing down the glass.

S: Pungent even without any agitation. I don't know how old the bottle is (le sigh), but this is still plenty hoppy. Big tangerine and lemon rind in the nose, supported by hefty toffee malt. It smells pretty balanced.

T: Yup, definitely tangerine, with a hint of orange and lemon rind underneath. Plenty of associated bitterness up front, too. But it's well balanced by a solid malt backbone of toffee and toast. The finish is a hint of mint and a semi-astringent pine bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste.

M: Light-medium bodied. It's not very viscous, and it swirls easily in the mouth, but it's still tasty for a semi-thin presence.

D: Mixed feelings. I love the malt profile shown here; I feel it accentuates the hop profile without undercutting it. But the finish is a tad too astringent for me. I don't think this is a bad IPA by any means, but these guys can do better. For the price, though, this will probably replace El Toro IPA as my go-to beer, if they start dating bottles.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright orange, pours very clear. Big rocky head with good retention that leaves a ridiculous amount of lace. Just how you expect an IPA to look.

Smell: Huge aroma I can smell from a couple of feet away. Sweet citrusy hop smells, like tangerine, apricot and pineapple. As it warms malts become more present.

Taste: Tart but fairly lifeless at first, but then a wave of bitterness washes over your mouth. Caramel sweetness. Taste is decidedly more grapefruit-y than the aroma. Slight toastiness to the finish. Finish is dry. Interesting and unique taste.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Carbonation is just on the low side of medium. As for drinkability, each component was decent, but the whole falls short, somehow.

Thanks to intriqken for shipping this one my way.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes taken 06/21/16:

Enticing, mostly clear brandy-amber with tannish foamy head of moderate retention. Resin, spice, apricot, alcohol, perfume aromas. Similar on the palate, though favoring apricot and spice, and more overtly bitter, with alcohol flavor balanced out. Delicious! Full-bodied but relatively thin, carbonation sloshy then creamy. Quite hot, mouth-coating.

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Photo of koopa
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Buyrite Liquors in South Plainfield, NJ.

Appearance: Beautiful hazed orange with honey lemon corners. A huge 3 finger off white crown with loads of retention and lace. The crown is really frothy and gets nice and dense like whipped cream after you let it settle and repour a few times. This is what I want my IPA's to look like.

Smell: A large burst of floral and citrus hops fill the nose. Grass, mandarin orange, lemon zest, lightly toasted malt.

Taste: Resiny pine hops, toffee, citrus zest, and of touch of astringency.

Mouthfeel: A touch thin

Drinkability: Not hard to kick back because of the thin mouthfeel but the flavor isn't that enjoyable.

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Photo of HopHeadRyan
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Crystal clear orange-amber, decent head and lacing

S - Definite citrus, pine, and an apparent tuti-fruity bubblegum aroma (in a good way); a very subtle malt-grain aroma in the background

T - Grapefruit bitterness nearly countered by a sweet caramel malt character; the hops win though as the bitterness lingers in the best possible way

M - Smooth carbonation, tiny bubbles, doesn't interrupt the flavors and enhances the aromas

Overall - One of my favorite go to IPAs...makes me wish I lived near the brewery so I could have it fresh from the tap any day of the week. Definitely one of my top 10 regularly available American IPAs. Give Big EYE a try!


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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage; drank 10/18/15 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

See-through dark orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE eggnog head; a frothy curtain of lace.

Orange citrus, pine needle & dry grapefruit notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Orange citrus flavor up front; dry pine & grapefruit notes on the finish. A nice nose, but this is too dry for me to love. Certainly drinkable though.

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Photo of jj139
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Amber/copper color with a finger and a half beige head. Lacing lasted all the way down the pint glass throughout.

S - Medium nose of hoppy-citrus, pine resin and a hint of malt

T - Hops and citrus tend to dominate with a definite bite of bitterness.

M - Medium body and carbonation. I was hoping for a creamer finish but it still was enjoyable.

O - While I enjoy Sculpin more, this is a very good beer and I will be enjoying it again.

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Photo of JG-90
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a moderate/large head that is just off-white in color. Beer is an orange/gold color with a hint of red. Head has decent retention and moderate lacing. Smells of grapefruit with a bit of orange, bready and caramel malt, and a bit of pine.

Taste starts with pine and caramel malt, then moves on to grapefruit with a bit of orange/lemon, has a resiny/bready end, with the same aftertaste as end. Has an average mouthfeel with moderate/high carbonation for an IPA.

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Photo of chadu
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a nice thick pillowy egg white head. Caramelly orange tint to a slightly hazy glass.

Aroma has a nice orange like scent and pine.

A sweet cirtusy taste with some syrup base. Carbonation is light, but not overly so.

Overall a very solid hoppy IPA.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a copper color with a fluffy white head and some mild lacing.

S: Lots of citrus hops on the nose and not all that much else. A bit of pine and bread in the background. Quite a pungent aroma, actually.

T: The flavor is less intense than the nose would let on, unfortunately. I still got the citrus and pine, but they were not quite as powerful. A bit of bread and sweetness, too.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation. The finish is mildly bitter.

D: One of the first IPAs I had back when I got into beer, and to be honest, it's a little better than I had remembered. Not my favorite by any means, but it's still a good beer.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass. Amber in color, nice foamy head that receded into a thin film. The aroma is citrus and sweet, orange blossom and malt, with a hint of lemon. Nice flavor, orange, grapefruit and tropical fruit, blended with the caramel malt. A crisp, bright finish. Very satisfying. An excellent IPA, definitely worth drinking.

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Photo of soulfly1492
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep gold, cloudy. Thick creamy white head dissipates rather quickly. Good lacing. Ok retention.

Smell: White grapefruit, citrus, caramel pine. Can detect some alcohol.

Taste: Grapefruit, citrus, caramel, burnt sugar.

Mouthfeel: Oily for the most part but turns to dry due to the massive dose of bitter hops. Little carbonation

Overall: Super hoppy, yet somewhat balanced. Good bit of malt presence. Wasn't expecting the sweet burnt sugar.

Note: leaves quite the spicy/bitter taste on the tongue. Lasts a long long time.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours a burnt orange with a tan head that leaves its jack frost patterns all the way down after each sip.

S - Citrus, piney, juicy fruit, earthy.

T - Hop forward, big citrus flavors met by an equal malty back bone, caramel malts, and a dank and slightly resinous finish.

O -Another solid offering from BP, but IMO, not as tasty as the flag ship sculpin and especially not the Grapefruit sculpin.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clean amberish golden orange color. Not really much head, just a touch of lace.

S: Pine, cinder cone with a malty back drop.

T: Nice herbal bitterness. Loads of cedar resin with undertones of vanilla and toffee. Light remnants of citrus.

M: Decent body with good carbonation

D: I hate "standard" IPA's. You know those ones that just don't stand out, just another assembly line IPA? This one has something different and worth drinking.

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Photo of dudecandle
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass:

A: Dark golden-orange body with a small half-finger head. Left a modest cap and slight lacing.

S: A good combination of citrus and herbal hops, a bit grassy as well. Also had a pleasant spiciness. Malt background is noticeable.

T: Hops are in good order with the herbal overshadowing the citrus on the palate. Nonetheless, a good amount of orange peel. A bit peppery, maybe some cinnamon. Surprisingly, a distinctive chocoaltey malt, which was very unique and plesant enough. It actually made the beer quite sweet.

M: Dry and a bit thin.

D: Unexpected flavors for an IPA, but its overall profiles are very strong. It was a little too sugary for my tastes, but the hops were in great balance. I think this one was a bit old, so I'm looking forward to trying it again sometime, hopefully on tap.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a nice orange-amber capped by a thick white head. The head fades pretty quickly though. Nice lacing. Loads of citrus (orange and grapefruit) hit the nose upon opening. The taste isn't quite a citrusy as the smell might suggest. Piney and herbal hops are in the forefront, and a bit harsh to the tongue, but sweet caramel malt flavors are noticeable. A pretty good IPA, but not among the best.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. About ¾ inches of head with a small amount of lacing and some film on the sides. Both stayed on the glass throughout. Color was caramel amber.

Lots of different smells that come together nicely. Strongest odor was hops. Caramel seems to be the next strongest smell and comes through the middle. On the outside was pine, citrus and grapefruit.

Taste was a lot different than the smell, save the caramel. The caramel came through first, but wasn’t nearly as strong as the smell. The aftertaste was dominated by a hoppy, alcohol bite. Bitter finish with the pine/citrus taste trailing on the sides.

The beer grew on me after the first few sips. Refreshing and somewhat smooth. Pleasantly bitter taste on the tongue. Moderate carbonation.

A decent beer overall. It really grew on me on as it went on. I’d give it another shot.

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Photo of heartofgold
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours with a luscious warm amber, building and maintaining a thick creamy head. The aroma is relatively subtle with piney and resinous notes; there are little flowery characters in the nose. On first sip, I realized that I had just drenched my thirsty chasm with sticky needles and sap that could take an afternoon to peel off my palate. Subsequent tastes allowed the malt to come through, but the bitterness dominates.
Moving the hops towards later addition would better match the style, or perhaps a bit more malt sweetness of of a DIPA for the hops, but this bitter representation of a west coast IPA is quite satisfying, as long as you live at the far end of Vinnie's "Lupluin shift". Overall, given my own penchant for hoppy beer, I enjoyed this one; it provides an honorable analog to a peaty Islay scotch, which similarly delivers enjoyment to a few, dedicated aficionados.

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Photo of Hatzilla
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: A clear amber pour with a fluffy 2 finger head that recedes slowly, leaving substantial lacing.

Scent: Scent is a combination of orange citrus and malt. Definitely not as pungent as others in the style due to the strong malty backbone.

Taste: Again, this IPA has a strong malt presence, too much so for my liking. The citrus hops are fighting for taste bud real estate with the robust malt, and the hops are losing the battle. At the back end some earthy hops make their presence known.

Mouthfeel is smooth, oily and has nice carbonation.

Overall: A nice IPA if you are not a hop head, preferring a balance of malts and hops. If you want a tongue-thrashing of citrus hops pick up a Sculpin instead.

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Photo of 57md
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a finger of head that took some time to completely dissipate and left some lace behind when it finally faded away. The nose has both hop notes and malt notes. The malt backbone is not as prominent in the flavor profile as the nose might suggest. The finish is semi-dry and pleasantly hoppy. This is a solid IPA, but it simply can’t come close to its cousin – Sculpin.

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Photo of thomda11
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful copper color matched by few beers. The aroma is something I had difficulties with; it smells like a standard American IPA, if that makes sense. No overt fruit aromas. The taste is pretty solid. The hop flavor is not terribly complex, consisting mostly of pine bitterness, with a hint of grapefruit. Of course, the lack of complexity is far from a bad thing. It has a nice malt balance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall, this is a solid brew. I still think Ballast Point's Sculpin is a better IPA, but at about 4 bucks less a 6-pack than Sculpin, I think I'd prefer to pick this brew up instead.

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - So much better than Sculpin as far as appearance. Light amber hue with half a finger eggshell white head that stays around.

S - Malt aroma melds with the earthy hops. Not too much hop aroma, maybe some hints of citrus, but not what you would expect from a west coast IPA

T - Malts still dominate, but hops are more present. Citrus hops are the main flavor, mainly grapefruit. Some slight earthy pine hops as well, but not too noticeable. Very sweet tasting, almost too sweet, but still slightly balanced.

M - Medium, slick body. Sticks slightly to your mouth. Good carbonation. Finish is sweet, sticky, and a very late bitterness. Bitter pine hops show up well after the sweetness fades away.

D - Very drinkable. Sweet, but not too sweet. I definitely want to keep going back for more. I almost feel that if you combine this beer with sculpin, you would have one of the best IPAs. All of the strengths in this beer are the faults in Sculpin.

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Photo of barczar
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a fairly clear copper penny with a billowing cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is skunky, resiny, dank, with sharp grapefruit and a slightly fecal note that thankfully disappears relatively quickly.

Muted grapefruit forms the base of the flavor profile, with tangerine and lightly toasted, bready caramel malt offering a touch of sweetness to counter. The finish is fairly bitter and resiny.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth surfacing.

Minus the fecal note, a great example of the style. Good balance of flavoring and bittering hops, though the bittering is a little more than I prefer.

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Photo of Lunch
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz. bottle purchased from Julio's Liquors in Westboro, MA into my Stone Cali-Belgique glass at the appropriate temperature (03/02/10).

A: Pours a darker shade of golden blond capped with a fluffy and creamy off-white head of about two fingers. Some patchy lace is left on the inside of the glass.

S: Mild aroma of citrus hops with some bitterness

T: Certainly not the hop explosion as I was expecting as with the nose, this is a rather light flavor with some orange, grapefruit and mild bitter hops. Some light malt is found as well.

M: Lighter-bodied with with moderate and somewhat creamy carbonation.

D: Certainly easy to drink, but there are many other IPAs I would rather have.

Overall this was a little disappointing and I am not sure if perhaps this is just an old bottle, no dust was found on it, nor was there any dating (that I could find at least) Not a bad, Sculpin is a completely different beast entirely. Worth a look.

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Photo of ahq514
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

Pours a dark golden color that is slightly clear. A little over a finger white head. Seems to have moderate carbonation. Gobs of lacing.

Hop aromas are loaded wirh floral, piney notes, with a light citrus touch. Lingering behind the hops is a nice caramel malt backbone.

Spicy, piney hops dominate the palate right up front, followed by a quick appearance of grapefruit hops. Next comes a little bit of sweet malt. The finish is mostly bitter hops.

Medium body and moderate carbonation. Average drinkability.

A good ipa, but not well balanced enough in my opinion. Needs more malt to balance out the bitterness of the hops. Other than that, its a very solid beer. Prefer sculpin.

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Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 4,268 ratings.
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